The House Republican “leadership,” and we use that term in the loosest sense, is preparing to confirm once and for all that it is a principle-free zone by scheduling a phony vote to defund Obamacare.
The smoke and mirrors procedure cooked-up by House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions of Texas and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia calls for sending the Senate a stopgap spending bill together with a resolution that would alter the text of the bill once it’s enrolled for presentation to President Barack Obama – the so-called “enrollment correction” would bar funding to carry out Public Law 111-148, (Obamacare). The Democratic-controlled Senate of course retains the right to choose whether to accept the “correction,” or not, and could then send the funding bill on to President Obama with little more controversy or debate.
This strategy has the effect of allowing House Republicans to be for funding Obamacare before they were against it.
The Sessions-Cantor strategy is not an attempt to force Democrats into taking an unpopular vote, rather it is an attempt to fool grassroots conservative voters into thinking that House Republicans actually stood on principle and voted against a spending bill with money to implement Obamacare in it.
And it might have worked but for the principled leadership of Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee who were quick to call-out the House on this phony vote.
Conservative activists and advocacy organizations, such as the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, were also quick to call the Sessions-Cantor strategy what it is, a cynical ploy.
Club for Growth President Chris Chocola issued a statement that asked what was on the minds of most conservatives we know once they were clued-into what was actually going on with this vote: “When members were at home over recess, did they hear their constituents ask for legislative tricks or principled leadership?”
And that’s really been the problem with the House GOP ever since voters gave them back control of the House in the Tea Party wave election of 2010: It is not the rank-and-file Members of the House Republican Conference who are the problem – it is the complete lack of commitment to govern according to conservative principles from the House Republican leadership that is the problem.
Heritage President Jim DeMint and Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham put the real life effect of this lack of principle best in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal:
“Elected leaders in both parties should summon the courage to put their political futures on the line, because the future of America is truly on the line. Politicians who oppose ObamaCare should not vote to fund it. Those who want a socialized health-care system should vote to fund it. There is no middle ground and no place to hide.”
Whether they realize it or not, whether they decide to put them there or not, the political futures of the House Republican leaders are already on the line.
The conservative grassroots voters of this country are tired of being treated like idiots by Washington’s GOP insiders on Capitol Hill and the RNC. This ploy by Sessions and Cantor (temporarily on hold now that it has been exposed) is just one more example of why the price for conservative support at the polls in 2014 should be new leadership in the House GOP.
To add your name to the list of conservatives who demand a real vote, not a phony vote, to defund Obamacare please sign our “No Trick Votes On Obamacare” petition today.